Jim Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA

disability benefits. Jim writes extensively about VA and Social Security disability benefits. 
Jim's Mailbag is a regular column featured at  Stateside Legal  where veterans, servicemembers,

and family members can  ask Jim their questions  about VA and Social Security disability benefits. 

How To Increase An Existing VA Disability Rating %

Citation Nr: 1821530   DOCKET NO. 14-24 246

38 U.S.C. § 1151 is VA's medical malpractice statute, which compensates claimants who suffer "qualifying additional disability"

as a result of surgical, or other medical, treatment administered by VA. Such benefits are to be awarded in the same manner

as if the "additional disability ... were service-connected." See 38 U.S.C. § 1151(a); see also Roberson v. Shinseki, 607 F.3d 809,

813 (Fed. Cir. 2010). The current provisions of 38 U.S.C. § 1151 make clear that compensation may only be awarded for a

"qualifying additional disability" that was proximately caused by carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, error in judgment,

or similar instance of fault on the part of VA in furnishing treatment, or by an event not reasonably foreseeable.

Veterans Disability Appeals Lawyer

Citation Nr: 21051744   DOCKET NO. 12-23 618​​
Increased Ratings VA's schedular percentage ratings are based on the average impairment of earning capacity as a result

of service-connected disability. 38 U.S.C. § 1155; 38 C.F.R. § 4.1. If two disability evaluations are potentially applicable, the higher evaluation will be assigned if the disability picture more nearly approximates the criteria for that rating; otherwise, the lower

rating will be assigned. 38 C.F.R. § 4.7. All reasonable doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant. 38 C.F.R. § 4.3.

A Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating reflects the rated condition in the approximate moment in time when the rating decision was made. Ratings in 10% increments reflect the severity of a disabling condition on an increasing scale from 0% to 100%.  There are ratings above and beyond the standard 100% rating and those are reserved for the most acutely injured or ill veterans. It's accepted that over time a given disabling condition may become worse or more disabling and an upward adjustment to the rating should be considered. There are a few common sense steps to performing what is essentially a new application for a benefit...this one being an increase. To be sure you're eligible and can prove your claim, have a look at  The Schedule For Rating Disabilities  The Schedule is your guide to what you may be eligible for. You may learn that your current rating is already at the maximum or that your current rating is seriously deficient. You have to research it to know. Gather your evidence and records to support the increase. ​If there are civilian medical records, you have to gather those for yourself. Do not rely on VA to obtain your civilian records. ​It's time to file the claim.Be as precise as you can to describe just what it is that you want. Provide supporting evidence. I think that it's a good idea to go ahead and  have an IMO done . File your  Intent To File A Claim  form and have an IMO done to provide when you finally get around to filing the claim for an increase. If you take the time to do a thorough job of crossing t's and dotting i's after you've filed your Intent to File form, an increase is a pretty sure thing. You have to go in with all the evidence you need though...do not depend on VA to help! If you're sure, go for it. If you aren't sure, you have some more work to do.

Entitlement to service connection

for bilateral foot disability claimed as secondary to carbon tetrachloride exposure.

Veterans Medical Malpractice Lawyer

​​​​HEADS UP!

Are You Scheduled For A C & P Exam?

This document will save you a lot of worry!

C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

This is your C & P examiners guide and it's your only chance to know what the examiner knows before you go in the room.

This document is a VA product, still in wide use and if you study it prior to the exam, you'll have the upper hand. Knowing exactly what you should expect is a big advantage.

Do some homework...and good luck.

Veterans Benefits Administration Reports

​Detailed Claims Data  -  Status Reports
Reports contain data covering claims inventory, claims backlog, claims accuracy, and Fully Developed Claims. 

Citation Nr: 21052813   DOCKET NO. 10-32 295

Entitlement to a total disability evaluation based on individual unemployability (TDIU) due to service-connected

disabilities on a schedular or extraschedular basis prior to May 6, 2019 is denied.
The Veteran's coronary artery disease is rated at 100 percent on a schedular basis as of May 6, 2019, and the Veteran has already been awarded special monthly compensation (SMC) pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 1114(s) from May 6, 2019 forward.

Veteran Involvement in the U.S. Capitol Breach

Possible Effects on VA Benefits

Veterans’ Benefits and Bankruptcy

​From 2005 to 2019, the federal Bankruptcy Code commonly required veterans to relinquish some of their veterans’

benefits to their creditors in order to obtain bankruptcy relief. The Bankruptcy Code thereby treated veterans’ benefits

less favorably than Social Security benefits, which federal law typically insulates from creditors’ claims

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Search 
Add keywords and press Enter to search VA Websites 

Military Suicides Rose 15 Percent Last Year
The upward trend was strongest in the Army and Marine Corps

​​Welcome to the VAWatchdog...

For many years we're the leader in providing expert resources to help you win the claim for the benefits you earned. We'll guide you as you file a claim and provide you with professional, board certified consultation should you need some help.

If you're a health care or legal professional interested in helping America's veterans with their claims, drop me a note at <jim912@gmail.com> and I'll be happy to explain how this works. /s/  Jim

Veterans Lawyer

 This is the CFR

Code of Federal Regulations

Title 38 - Pensions, Bonuses,

and Veterans' Relief

Title: PART 17 - MEDICAL 

Hey Jim, I've got the blues...

I'm being sued by my HOA!  I'm a disabled veteran and I need some legal help.

The Judge gave us till the 20th of October to answer questions and submit questions to the HOA.  Jim's Reply.

Many service members use industrial solvents in regular military tasks...

​Benzene   Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)   Acetone    Trichloroethylene (TCE)   Xylenes​

What You Should Know When Applying for Social Security Disability

If your application is denied, then you can ask for reconsideration

Dr. Orange:

The Secret Nemesis of Sick Vets
For decades, the military and the
VA have repeatedly turned to one man to guide decisions on whether Agent Orange harmed vets in Vietnam and elsewhere. His reliable answer: No.

AND then there are the

Three Great Lies.

I've updated those just a bit.

1: The check is in the mail.

2: Of course I'll respect you in the morning darling.

3: Hello. I'm here from the VA and I'm going to help you.

Veterans Psychologist Nexus Letters

Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

​​Not every veteran is automatically entitled to medical care from the VA.

Veterans must meet basic eligibility requirements for enrollment.

​​Alabama

If you're late with child support payments, you need to read:

38 CFR § 21.330 -

Apportionment

American Workers Are on Strike Over 'Low-Wage S*** Jobs'

​American workers are engaged in "the equivalent of a general strike," former Labor Secretary

Robert Reich has argued, following unexpectedly low U.S. employment figures.

Veterans Lawyer Doctor


Veterans Psych Evaluations
 Brett Valette, Ph.D.

Providing Military Veterans Personalized Psychological and Medical Evaluations. Complete the Contact form, and you'll get a personal phone call from us. We listen, and want to know what you are going through. We provide Independent Medical Evaluations (IME), Independent Medical Opinions (IMO) and nexus letters for ratings reviews, secondary conditions, medical conditions, discharge upgrades, and many types of denied claims.  We also provide Social Security Disability claim reports.

Some Wounds Can't Be Seen        Contact Us Today

Jim's

                     Mailbag

Veterans Will Now Have Presumptive Conditions for Burn Pit Exposure

The VA will now recognize asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis as diseases presumed to be

connected to Veterans who served in specific countries at specific times.

Veterans Lawyer Personal Injury Appeals VA Claims

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Military Health History Pocket Card

Did you see combat, enemy fire, or casualties? 

Were you or a buddy wounded, injured or hospitalized?

Do you have a claim pending for illness or injury related to your military service?

Do you have a service-connected condition?

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The VA Watchdog

VA Accredited Veterans Law Attorney Referrals

Expert Nexus Letter Providers

 ~  All The Benefits Updates That Every Veteran Needs To Know  ~​​​​​​


Jim Strickland

jim912@gmail.com

I'm in Florida, up in the  NE corner near Jacksonville.

Are you close? The coffee is on me.

<jim912@gmail.com>


​​​Federal Register

Each day Federal agencies publish documents in the Federal Register, including proposed rules, final rules, public notices, and Presidential actions.​​

Research Your Claim Or Appeal As You File It

Learn what has worked for others and what gets denied or remanded

Veterans Lawyer

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs

It's  Your VA - Deal With It!​​

It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired.

You quit when the gorilla is tired.

Robert Straus

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

Let's file a VA disability claim

right now.  Intent to File
Too many of us skip this important step. Spending a few minutes taking care of this may give you months of additional benefits.​​ ​Get Started Two options explaining

the Benefits you've earned.​

You may file claims on  eBenefits  or
you can mail them in using certified 
mail or you can even fax them in. ​ 

​V A Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI
53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:
844-531-7818​


Centralized Intake Coversheet


How to file a VA disability claim


Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base
Locate information
more quickly and efficiently


38 CFR Book C
The Schedule for Rating Disabilities


The NPRC
Military Records​


Track Your VA Claim

or Appeal Status
Learn how to track

your status online​

View

your VA

disability ratings
If you have one or more disability ratings, you can

view your VA combined disability rating and your individual ratings online


When You've Hit A Dead End

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs ​White House Hotline

​855 - 948 - 2311

Denis.McDonough@va.gov

Yes, this really works. No, it doesn't ring in the White House.

Be sure to include your DOB, your last 4, contact info...a couple of numbers, your preferred email and such. 

Describe the problem as briefly as you can. Don't rant​​

Tell them you read about this at The VAWatchdog...

Get some hometown help.

These are the folks that know your state and federal benefits the best. 

Your state provides service officers to help you navigate all your benefits.

Check them out for state tax info, veterans claims, homelessness...and a lot more. Don't get advice from well meaning friends, neighbors or volunteer "VA Reps",

go with the pros.

C & P

Exam?

Social Security Announces 5.9 Percent Benefit Increase for 2022

Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA

notice online through their personal my Social Security account.


VA benefits also increase 5.9%